When government behaves like business

BART’s General Manager quits with $1 million severance

Embattled BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger, whose job has been endangered since a vote to fire her in February, resigned on Wednesday after reaching a severance deal worth nearly $1 million. . .

. . .The BART Board of Directors will consider today whether to accept her resignation and ratify the $958,000 settlement, which was negotiated by a committee of directors. The board is also expected to hire an interim general manager and start a search for a new leader for the regional rail transit agency. . .

. . .Director Joel Keller, who voted against firing Dugger in February, said he supported the deal. He said the district needs to be fair to the general manager and needs to move quickly to hire a replacement. . .

. . .Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, said it is not uncommon to see big-dollar settlements for government executives who are dismissed.  “It’s similar to what happens in private industry – the golden parachute,” he said. “We’re seeing more of it in government, usually to avoid lawsuits”. . .

Read more at SFGate:

While dollar-wise, this is hardly in the same league as corporate greed, it is emblematic of an attitude that the people in these positions are so valuable that we have to pay criminally high salaries and benefits to keep them.  Because, you know, the job market is so hot – they can just go anywhere and live high on the hog.

Yes, this is disgusting and it needs to stop.  But it is even more disgusting that the supporters of unregulated capitalism focus upon examples such as this, claiming it is ‘government out of control’ even though in the ‘business world’ the daily multi-million dollar theft of funds and public trust that takes place and a well-paid-for, government-sanctioned pace.

Mark Twain was right – we do have the best government that money can buy.

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